Athletes of the Year named at local schools
By John Bernhardt
Andes, Margaretville and Roxbury schools recently named their outstanding male and female athletes for the 2007/2008 school year. This week the News profiles the male athletes. Watch next week’s paper for profiles on the ladies.
A three-sport athlete, Taylor Murray was named the 2007-2008 Male Most Valuable Athlete at Andes Central School. Murray, who will attend Mercyhurst College to study archeology in the fall, was a second-team Delaware League soccer and tennis All-Star.
“Taylor was our defensive leader,” noted Andes soccer coach Adam VanValkenburgh. “Taylor played with intelligence in the backfield. He had excellent vision and could see the field well,” explained the Andes coach.
It was Murray’s uncanny ability to put himself in the best position possible that allowed him to make several big plays during the fall season. Tall and strong, Murray had three throw-in assists in Andes’ one-goal win over Jefferson. The senior defender had the game-winning goal with just 1:30 remaining to play in the Mountaineers’ next game, another one-goal win, this time over Gilboa.
Murray showed that same defensive intensity on the basketball court during the winter months. Although a thumb injury slowed his progress in the early going, the senior forward returned to lead the Mountaineers in rebounding during the second half of the season. Murray’s biggest offensive game of the winter season was a 15-point outing in Andes’ upset attempt against Margaretville.
The spring found Murray taking the number one position on the upstart tennis team. Murray was a positive role model for the young squad working on his game every day during his lunch break. Recognized by Andes coach Mark Birman for his steady play and consistent improvement during the season, Murray was selected as a second-team Delaware League All-Star.
Sometimes it’s more than performance statistics that measure an athlete’s contribution to their team. As much as shots saved or points scored, attitude and leadership is a measure of greatness. Those attributes stand front and center when describing the outstanding play of Margaretville Central School’s 2007-2008 outstanding male athlete, Shane Delameter.
Don’t be mislead, Delameter’s statistical accomplishments this fall on the soccer field and later on the basketball court were notable. But, it was the senior Blue Devils’ positive attitude and consistent leadership that was most appreciated by Margaretville coaches and fans.
A three-year varsity starter in soccer and basketball, Delameter used his experience and confidence to make a difference. “Shane was a great leader for us from day one,” praised Jeremey Marks, Margaretville’s varsity soccer and basketball coach. “Our teams in both sports were unusually young, and the guys looked to Shane for leadership. He didn’t disappoint.”
Delameter was a vocal leader in the nets for a young soccer squad that was surprisingly competitive this fall. The only senior on the defensive side of the field, Delameter helped shape an imposing Blue Devils’ defense that was a catalyst in the Blue Devils’ title run. “Shane was stalwart in the goal,” explained Marks. “We could count on him making the big save. He kept our guys calm during pressure situations.”
Assertive around the nets, Delameter was not afraid to play it forward and challenge a surging offensive attack. The imposing goalie exerted a physical presence that sometimes discouraged opposing forwards from pursuing the ball in front of the Blue Devils’ net.
Delameter’s steady hand kept Margaretville in the thick of the Delaware League championship chase. The Blue Devils won the Mountain Division championship before losing a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to South Kortright in the Delaware League Championship game. Margaretville evened the score by toppling the Rams in Section IV quarterfinal play before falling to Laurens in the semi-finals.
Delameter played the same leadership role on the Blue Devils’ basketball team. A “Go to Guy” on the hardwoods, Delameter averaged a double/double each night scoring 12.5 points and pulling down 10.5 rebounds.
An ACL tear in the 10th game of the season ended Delameter’s high school athletic career and Margaretville’s Section IV hopes at the same time. After an 0-3 start, the Blue Devils were progressing nicely, winning their own Booster Tournament and reaching the .500 plateau before their center went down. “Personally, I felt we would have made the sectionals if Shane hadn’t been hurt,” Marks noted.
Shane Delameter is an athlete who went far beyond playing statistics. The Blue Devils’ senior, a second-team Delaware League All-Star in both soccer and basketball, is a true leader, a positive force on the field, who helped get his teammates organized and worked tirelessly to help his teams succeed.
Lucas Brewer built a reputation around stingy defense. The Roxbury senior’s aggressive, relentless, defensive style on the soccer field and basketball court was a major reason Brewer was selected as Roxbury’s 2007-2008 Male Athlete of the Year.
Brewer decided to try soccer for the first time last fall. Roxbury coach Tom Faraci is glad he did. “Lucas proved to be a very versatile midfielder on our soccer team,” explained Faraci. “With his speed, Lucas could sometimes push the ball offensively and at other times mark up and defend the best offensive player on the opposing team,” finished the Roxbury coach.
According to Faraci, the senior sparkplug was a big piece in helping the Rocket soccer team meld together last fall. Brewer provided the Rockets with a new dimension and added stability in putting together a winning season.
Area basketball enthusiasts are well aware of the important role Brewer played on Roxbury’s Section IV championship basketball team. Once again, the senior made his mark on defense. “Lucas was pretty awesome on defense,” Faraci marveled. “He did a great job against some of the best players in the league.”
The Roxbury senior’s impact on the Rockets’ championship hoop run was not limited to defense. Brewer was the team’s point guard, an on-the-floor quarterback who helped make the Rocket engine roar.
As the point guard, Brewer understood his first assignment was to help his teammates score. Yet, from within that role, Brewer was noted for coming up with timely baskets. Simply stated, Brewer knew when, how, and where to get a basket when his team really needed one. Careful shot selection gave the senior floor leader the highest shooting percentage on the team.
For his outstanding contributions on the hardwoods, Brewer was selected as a second-team Delaware League All-Star.
The spring found Brewer making his mark on the baseball team. The Rockets’ starting shortstop, Brewer was a solid contact hitter who could spray line drives to any part of the field. Fast on his feet, Brewer was feared for his aggressive play on the base paths. A back-up pitcher, Brewer also logged valuable innings as a part of the pitching staff.
Assertive defensive play and on the floor leadership helped make Lucas Brewer Roxbury’s top male athlete this year.